Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens

“This is the first murder that the Wells & Wong Detective Society has ever investigated, so it is a good thing Daisy bought me a new casebook. The last one was finished after we solved The Case of Lavinia’s Missing Tie. The solution to that, of course, was that Clementine stole it in revenge for Lavinia punching her in the stomach during lacrosse, which was Lavinia’s revenge for Clementine telling everyone Lavinia came from a broken home. I suspect that the solution to this new case may be more complicated.”

Welcome to the Wells & Wong Detective Society. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up the society they had no idea things were about to get so interesting. Now they are investigating a murder no one knows even happened, except the murderer of course. Miss Bell’s body was lying on the Gym floor one minute and then when Hazel returned with Daisy a few minutes later was gone. The girls simply must solve the murder before the killer strikes again, but how when their mistresses are all acting strange and Deepen School for Girls is the hardest place to investigate without being found out?

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Oh what a fantastic book. I wasn’t big on the older ‘boarding school books’ when I was a kind and much preferred other things like animal ark and babysitters club, much to my sisters dismay. To this day she complained loudly about the fact I’ve never read any Enid Blyton or the like and I can honestly say I regret it. This book was enough to make me realise how deep that regret goes and in all honesty made me want to dig out any schooldays book I could find and devour it.

The story follows Daisy and Hazel on their detective mission to find out who murdered their school mistress. It is technically historical fiction and that much can be gathered from the way Hazel speaks and the things she mentions about the school, like the class (its name escapes me) where they have to walk with a book balanced on their head! I love historical fiction at the best of times but coupled with a mystery to make any young person want to dig out their parents/grandparents copies of Agatha Christie’s books Murder Most Unladylike really hit the spot.

It took me a little while to get into the book but I think thats more me than the book itself. Once they were deep into their detective mission though I was immersed and I honestly didn’t want it to end. I thought it was brilliant and am so happy to know there are two more books to come in this series.

I very much appreciated Hazel as a character more than Daisy and loved that the book is all told from her point of view. Daisy bugged me a little bit and Hazel having to run around after her a lot got annoying but at least she does get a little better towards the end of the book. They make a good pair because they kinda balance each other out a bit and they have one of those friendships that you can tell will last.

I think this really is a school days book for the modern reader, which shows how good it is considering its set in the 1930s. Robin Stevens did a brilliant book of making it show the age of its setting without making it sound too old for readers from our modern age. You will be hard pressed to find a reader who didn’t enjoy something about this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who asked for a great middle grade/young teen book about friendship, crime or those oh so glorious school days!

Murder Most Unladylike was published on June 5th by Corgi, a Random House imprint. My copy was purchased at my favourite indie bookstore Storytellers Inc. 
 
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